Top Travel Tips For Those On A Budget
As a student, and just generally through being conscientious about money, I have learnt a lot about how to travel the cheaper way while still getting the most out of the incredible experience you are embarking on. From interrailing around Europe to backpacking through Bali, these tips and tricks are just some of the things that I have done to make the little cash I have stretch that bit longer!
1. Before going to a travel company that will sell you a package holiday, do your research. If you have time to spare then look up flights and accommodation separately as often this can come up cheaper than if you go to a company. This may be through looking at home stays (e.g. through https://www.airbnb.co.uk/) as these can’t be booked through travel agents.
2. Tip one applies to travel offers found on sites like Groupon as well. I thought I had found a great deal to go to Krakow for £130 but by putting time aside to look through flight deals and at rented apartments, I got 3 nights for £102 which was in a better location than the hotel that Groupon offered.
3. Allow yourself some time to play around with flight dates as what I have found in the past is that flying one day before (even with an extra night in accommodation) actually can come up cheaper and you get extra time on holiday!
4. Use a website like https://www.skyscanner.net/ as this will compare flights across different companies, to show you the cheapest airline to go with as well as providing more times to go. Also, a great tip for SkyScanner is to click on a whole month view when you select your dates to fly. This will show you the cheapest price of a flight on each day of the month, so you can see which dates are the cheapest to fly (they are shown in green in the image above).
5. Don’t just opt straight for a hotel. Personally, I would rather have a whole apartment to myself than a hotel room as it’s a lot nicer to have a whole space to yourself. For me though, the main reason is that you have your own kitchen meaning that you can go to the supermarket and cook food there instead of eating out every night. This will save SO much money, believe me! You can get pasta, a nice sauce and vegetables from the local supermarket for so cheap, and what I like to do is then go out for a couple of drinks afterwards so I still feel like I am getting out and seeing the city.
6. Always read the comments section. When looking at any accommodation, the best place to see what a place is really like is from the comments of those that have already been there.
7. If you’re planning a trip in advance, don’t just get the first flights you see. Sign up to emails from the flight companies and they will inform you if there is a flight sale going ahead. I waited around for a flight sale and saved around £30 on return flights to Krakow which I could then put towards luggage allowance!
8. If you are planning on staying in a hostel, try and find one which includes breakfast. When I was interrailing, we saved money on lunch by making sandwiches from the bread and jam offered at breakfast along with some fruit.
9. Bring a portable, reusable water bottle. This may seem minor and obvious but bringing a reusable bottle will save you money when its really hot and you need to keep buying drinks out. Most cities will have somewhere to fill up your water bottle and often cafes are more than happy to fill up your water bottle. Just make sure tap water is safe to drink wherever you are!
10. Wash your own clothes! Save money on extra luggage space by bringing travel wash with you. This is an easy way to cut down the amount of clothes you take with you and keeps them smelling fresh. If you’re doing this then another tip is to bring bungee rope and pegs with you, they’re only small so will fit in your case easily and are super handy for making your own drying line.
11. Instead of going to posh restaurants every night, try the local cuisine. This may be a local food market or a small corner restaurant. You can find these by a simple web search on the day or if you plan in advance, look at blog posts from locals or frequent visitors that know all of the hidden gems. Local restaurants are often cheaper than big names and also more authentic.
12. Plan your activities before you go. Once you are there, with everything exciting going on around you, your budgeting may go out the window. Planning in advance means that you can really look around for the best deals rather than panic buying the first thing you see on the day. It also means that you avoid realising on your last day that there is something you really would have wanted to do.
These are just a few tips and tricks that I hope may spare you a bit of change, like they did for me. Despite all these points, the main thing is to enjoy yourself. Travel is so exciting and is one of the greatest aspects of life and while planning is good, make sure you live in the moment and enjoy every second!
Before you go, please share some of your tips with me!
© 2020 Chloe